My memory sometimes plays tricks on me. But a number of my earlier childhood remembrances often return, and I either chuckle or wonder what is fact and what is fiction. You can have a guess at this remembrance.

Picture this: As a kindergarten student, I had an occasion to run across the high school’s football field, crying and yelling, “Mr. Hanke is going to give me the rubber hose.” My chubby little legs kept churning along as I covered the entire field still yelling. I was supposedly on my way home because Mr. Hanke, who was our principal, had heard from our teacher that the little gal sitting close to the back of the room discovered her pony tail covered with ink.

Circumstantial evidence? I guess, because back in those days every desk had an ink well and a bottle filled with black ink. And for some strange reason I was sitting in a desk immediately behind her. And the tail of her pony tail rested on the front portion of my desk. And kindergartners can sometimes do some awful things. Somehow, the end of her braided hair found the inkwell on my desk and took a short dip.

Still circumstantial evidence, right? I question to this day whether it was a case of puppy love or an opportunity to witness a “color change” before my very eyes? Regardless, I never did feel the rubber hose on my behind. However, that was common knowledge to the older students and, to this new kindergartner, it did put a fear in me. Never did I witness a spanking with a rubber hose, but the fear of it sure kept us students from doing nasty things. Later, when our family made a move to a new town, my education and fear, as taught by nuns, often involved God.

Good thing that ink wells were a thing of the past by then.

Some other remembrances from way back then: I actually learned Latin so that I could be a server at Mass. Funny though, when in high school I was told that I wouldn’t be eligible for graduation unless I successfully completed one year of Latin. Imagine, 12 years later, from kindergarten to high school, I flunked Latin. I could not master talking fluently in Latin, but I can still rattle off some of the Latin phrases said during Mass. Sounds like a slow learner to me. Maybe it’s true that the more one complains, the longer God makes you live.

My question is this: Has God ever laughed? I think so because He promised us men that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the earth. Then He made the earth round — and He laughed, and He laughed and He ... .

A Sunday school teacher was trying to explain the difference between right and wrong. She said, “If I were to get into a man’s pocket and take his billfold and all his money, what would I be?” Little Johnny raised his hand and blurted out: “You’d be his wife.”

Two boys were walking home from church after hearing a strong preaching on the devil. One said to the other, “What do you think about all that Satan stuff?” The other boy replied, “Well, you know how Santa Claus turned out. It’s probably just your dad.”

Pro golfers are paid according to how well they play. They don’t hit up tax payers to pay for their courses. While being interviewed — they keep their clothes on. And golf courses don’t devalue the neighborhood. So, why 18 holes, why not 20 or 30? Back in 1858, a senior member of the St. Andrew’s Board of Directors pointed out that it takes 18 shots to polish off a fifth of Scotch. He continued, “By limiting oneself to only one shot per hole” the Scot figured a round of golf should be finished when the bottle ran empty.

And remember that the best things in life are free — plus shipping and handling.

Steve Henry is a former radio and TV news director, and outdoor writer and photographer. He can be reached at


Chippewa Herald editor

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